Ugh--Avoid like the plague
Truly awful show. It tries to be Jersey Boys but it cant. The book is dreadful and the show is a total mess. I dont know who they think theyre doing up there, but it sure isnt The Shirelles. Its not even a semi-reasonable facsimile. As jukebox musicals go, this one is one of the worst Ive ever seen. Theres no conflict, no point, no real story. Im not sure what the actors are doing on that stage, but it cant be called good acting. Thoroughly hated this show and walked out at intermission I wanted to leave after the first five minutes, actually--and then the show went downhill from there. Why was it designed so badly? Why was the "orchestra" really just a handful of players on stage the whole time and hidden? How did this mess make it to Broadway? As much as I love Beth Leavel, this wasnt a good showcase for her and pul-leez, could we get someone to do more authentic makeup and wigs??? Really, no excuse for all the anachronisms.
Baby It's You! on Saturday, Jun 4th, 2011
RE:Shipwrecked! An Incredible Entertainment
I was lucky enough to see this show through TM, and it truly was one of the best things Ive seen in a while. A perfectly-pitched evening of theatre with 3 brilliant performances the characterization of a dog is worth the price of admission. This is gripping, funny, moving theatre, the kind of lucky chance you dont always get. Its dazzlingly written and directed, and the work onstage will blow you away. I cant recommend it enough.
Shipwrecked! An Entertainment on Thursday, Jan 29th, 2009
Okay, I admit I probably went in with a preconceived notion of what this was going to be and wasnt sure how I would like this. And my preconceived notion was wrong. I was blown away by this exciting, well-acted, well-directed, well-designed ensemble piece. Its an intense drama written in verse how exciting is that!. There is a lot of young talent behind this work. It portends of a bright future for all of them. Just blew me away. And I am many years away from being a teen, but it held my interest throughout. A great show and, if you are at all interested in seeing tomorrows talents today, a dont miss show.
When in Disgrace (haply I think on thee) on Thursday, Jan 29th, 2009
RE:Interesting idea, but...
The concept behind this play is fascinating, and I cant fault the writing or the wonderful choreography. The problem is the leading man. Try as he does, he just cant carry this show note, hes not the title character. He is an excellent dancer, but the play is thrown completely off balance because how does one put this nicely? he lacks the requisite stage presence, line readings, and interesting characterization. It truly makes you wonder how some people are cast in the roles they play. You know youre in trouble when five minutes into the first act you want to sit the cast down and do line reading and timing exercises with them. Sigh...
Looking for Billy Haines on Monday, Mar 15th, 2010
Dont let the title throw you, though it does make sense. This is a powerful, well-written, well-acted production. It never stopped surprising and enthralling me until the very last moment. It is moving, powerful, and exciting. This is a Do Not Miss It Will Have Great Word Of Mouth show. Just trust me on this one.
A Cool Dip in the Barren Saharan Crick on Wednesday, Mar 17th, 2010
Run Away! Run Away!
Whatever this show might have been when it was Downtown it isnt any more. Awful acting. Offensive and I dont mean the gay aspect, either. Painful to sit through. It is a nightmare now.
When Joey Married Bobby on Sunday, Apr 18th, 2010
RE:Why Did They Do This?
I see a lot of shows, and I see a lot of good ones and plenty of bad ones. And I can forgive a show if the script isnt good, but the directing, acting, and design rise above it. I can forgive a good script with a less-than-stellar cast but a good design and interesting direction. But what I cannot forgive is a badly-written script being performed by a mostly inept case on a badly-designed set with no visible hand of a director. Why did they do this? Did someone really pick up this script and say, "What a great show, lets do it"? And lest I forget, why were the backup singers lipsyncing--badly? Maybe Act 2 was better, but it was such agony to sit through Act 1, I really didnt care.
The Unfortunate Honeymoon of Tony and Steve on Thursday, Aug 19th, 2010
Squish This Bug, It's Hopeless
For all the millions of dollars they spent on special effects for this show, it would have been worth spending a couple million more to buy a halfway decent book and a score that could rise above mediocre at best. Really, this is a disaster with nothing truly to like. Lets start with the basics. Bono and The Edge do not know how to write for character all the music sounds the same after a while--and its ALL boring. They have no idea how to build a musical idea and take it through from beginning to end what was the musical idea for this show? and really, the score is just not good. I might be one of the few people on the planet who is not familiar with U2. Now, after listening to this mess of a score, I hope to never hear of U2 again. Really, how did they have a career again? Okay, as bad as the score is, the book is even worse. I dont care if it didnt hew closely to the Spider-Man mythology. This is theatre, it has to make changes. But the book to this disaster is mediocre in spots, and downright foolish in others. Worse, by creating its own convention the Geek Squad telling the story as they want it told, it is essential to follow through on it until the end of the play. But noooooooo, the book just dumps the Geek Squad for no reason in the middle of Act 2 when the writers couldnt figure out how to make the idea work any more. So far as the cast is concerned, I feel sorry for the actors having to sing lousy songs and speak stupid, meaningless dialogue. I think they were almost embarassed to be up there but hey, theyre working. Now, as the the much-discussed special effects: yawn. Yes, as one post noted here, the fight over the orchestra toward the end of the seemingly endless Act 1 was interesting to watch. But the over-reliance on the special effects was a lame attempt to mask how weak the show is. Try to make the audience forget how badly this is written by flying people overhead. It doesnt work. You ultimately want to see a story on stage, and Ms. Taymor does not know how to tell a story on stage think about it: the plot to Lion King doesnt even kick in until the second act; the first act is all glitz, not substance. If you really are thinking of seeing this Titanic of a bad show a la "Not Since Carrie", please, do yourself and your wallet a big favor and see something else. Really. Even the kids in the audience fell asleep in Act 2. That tells us quite a lot right there.
Spider-Man Turn Off the Dark on Saturday, Dec 11th, 2010